US IT company Cognizant snaps up digital indy Zone

Zone's James Freedman in the centre

Independent digital agency Zone has been acquired by US IT company Cognizant.

Zone has been headquartered in London since its founding in 2000, but now it will be part of a bigger picture within Cognizant. The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the announcement but the deal is set to be finalised Q4 2017.

In a statement, Zone said its capabilities in application development, user experience and content strategy would enhance Cognizant’s established digital interactive expertise in experience design, human science-driven insights and analytics.

Its staff of 220 people will be consolidated into the Cognizant Digital Business practice, and its offices across London, Bristol and Cologne will remain in operation.

James Freedman, founder and executive chairman of Zone, said the move is timely as “we are seeing unprecedented demand for digital expertise from clients across every industry and every market”. On joining Cognizant, he said Zone "significantly enhances the depth and breadth of its offering to better serve current and future clients at a greater scale.”

Santosh Thomas, president of global growth markets at Cognizant, added: “CMOs and CIOs everywhere see how technology is increasingly central to their marketing efforts, and they are seeking a partner who can help them innovate and transform, using digital technologies to evolve their brands, foster customer loyalties and drive growth.

“Combining Zone with Cognizant strengthens our end-to-end capabilities and provides more localized access for clients in the UK and across Europe. This acquisition will be another powerful step forward as we grow our capabilities in the digital interactive space. We look forward to welcoming Zone’s digital specialists and their expertise to our team.”

The news follows the departure of Zone’s chief creative officer Daniel Harvey to startup The Dots days prior to the acquisition announcement. Filling the gap, Matt Chokshi has been promoted to creative director, working alongside content director Gina Roughan.

Zone counts Adidas, Aviva, Barratt Homes, Deutsche Telekom, Maersk, Marks & Spencer, and Unilever as some of its clients.

John McCarthy

John is an entertainment marketing reporter at The Drum. He writes about the amazing marketing stories coming from the movie, TV, music and video game industries. He's also the hunt for the weirder trends in marketing and advertising.

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